Objective: To describe the incidence and clinical characteristics of epiretinal membranes (ERMs) in children. Methods: The medical records of all pediatric (aged <19 years) patients diagnosed as having an ERM from January 1, 1976, through December 31, 2005, at Olmsted Medical Group and Mayo Clinic were retrospectively reviewed. Results: Five of the 44 patients were residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, at the time of their diagnosis, yielding an annual age- and sex-adjusted incidence of 0.54 per 100 000 patients, or 1 in 20 896 patients younger than 19 years. The mean age at diagnosis of the study patients was 12.4 years (range, 4 months to 18 years), with a preponderance of boys (31 [70%]). The presenting visual acuity in the affected eye was 20/60 or less in 22 patients (50%), and 10 patients (23%) displayed strabismus. Common causes of ERMs were trauma (17 patients [39%]), idiopathic conditions (13 patients [30%]), and uveitis (9 patients [20%]). Of the 44 patients, 8 (18%) underwent pars plana vitrectomy with membrane peel, with at least 5 of the 8 experiencing an improvement in their postoperative visual acuity. Conclusions: Epiretinal membranes are rare in children and are most frequently associated with a traumatic, idiopathic, or uveitic cause. Patients treated surgically generally have a favorable outcome.
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